Watching YouTube and Hulu on your TV

NEW YORK - MARCH 23:  Apple's new Apple TV advertisment is displayed  in an Apple store March 23, 2007 in New York City. Apple began shipping the Apple TV set-top device March 21, which wirelessly connects computers to televisions and retails for $299.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I got this question from a friend the other day:

do you know if you can transmit the internet signal in a wireless network to your tv?  now we attach our laptop directly to the tv with a VGA adapter.  I want to avoid doing this and maybe buy and attach  some type of transciever to the television to access  the internet while sitting on the couch in our living room.

I am looking for a good answer to this also  I used to use my Xbox to stream recorded TV from a PC upstairs, but the video was always choppy over the wireless connection, and now it just plain doesn’t work because of some setup issue.

I found a few questionable products. I really doubt the video quality – in home wifi doesn’t have enough bandwidth to transmit HD video in realtime, it has to be cached on the set top box.

The only established products that I know of are AppleTV and Roku Netflix. But both of those lock you in to either Netflix or iTunes. ZeeVee looks promising (but wired and expensive).

Anyone out there know of other alternatives?

UPDATE: looks like there are some new developments with a Google Media Server Desktop Gadget. I’m also interested in the DLNA stuff. Not sure how it all works, still sounds hard to set up.